Pictures and maps
The Reference Library’s collection of maps and pictures includes many thousand sheets. There are both printed and hand-drawn maps and town plans, architectural drawings, portraits and history images in several graphic techniques, photographs, and a number of drawings by Danish and foreign artists. The map collection was saved from the first Christiansborg Palace fire in 1794 and includes many rare and unique sheets.
The Queen’s Reference Library contains many rare and magnificent books. Even though the very impressive stock the Reference Library contained in the 18th century was in large part lost during the first fire at Christiansborg Palace in 1794, many antiquarian and bibliophile treasures have since been added, both during the reestablishment of the Reference Library at the beginning of the 19th century, and later.
Hilfeling’s drawings from Scania
In the 1770s and 1780s, the Swedish artist Carl Gustav Gottfried Hilfeling travelled around Scania at the expense of the Danish government and drew historical and archaeological objects which predated Scania becoming Swedish at the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658. It was originally to be a collaboration with the Danish historian Jacob Langebek, but he died in 1777. Hilfeling’s drawings are of great documentary value and show a broad cross section of both prehistoric and historic Scanian cultural heritage, from the Bronze Age to the Renaissance. Shown here is the drawing of the largest Bronze Age burial site in Scandinavia, which lies in Kivik in south east Scania.
Sale of photographs
Enquiries about taking photographs, scanning, and the use of reproductions of the Reference Library’s material should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org Any usage of material from the Reference Library outside of the library’s premises is subject to prior permission from HM the Queen. Applications regarding this may be sent to the same address as other enquiries. The price per photograph or scanning is 800 DKK plus VAT (25%).
The Gudbrand Bible, 1584
The collection of Bibles in the Reference Library is large and contains, amongst other things, two of the oldest Danish folio Bibles, Christian III and Christian IV’s Bibles from 1550 and 1639 respectively. A particular rarity among the Bibles is the first complete Icelandic Bible, which the bishop of Hólar in the north of Iceland, Guðbrandur Þorláksson (Gudbrand Thorlakssøn), had translated and published by Jón Jónsson in 1584 with the support of Frederik II. The translation opens with Martin Luther’s forewords to his own Bible translation, which both Christian III’s Bible and The Gudbrand Bible are based on. The Bible is embellished with 29 woodcuts and 29 illuminated initials, and must be considered a milestone in Icelandic ecclesiastical and linguistic history. Today there are around 30 known copies of The Gudbrand Bible in the world.
Her Majesty the Queen’s Reference Library is the Royal Family’s private library, established in 1746 by Frederik V. It contains the Danish monarchs’ collections of books, manuscripts, maps, pictures, photos, sheet music and more. The library is housed in Christian VIII’s Palace at Amalienborg and at Christiansborg Palace. The collections occupy approximately 3 kilometres of shelf space. They are large part composed of the still-growing book collection of around 100,000 volumes stemming from the end of the 1400s until today. Amongst the approximately 11,000 geographical maps in the map collection, which stem from around 1650 to around 1900, are many unique and rare maps, primarily of Europe, including Denmark and the former Danish territories, but also the rest of the world. The picture collection contains a variety of material from the middle of the 1700s until today, consisting amongst other things of original artworks, photographs, prospectuses, and posters. Finally, the Reference Library has a film collection and a sheet music collection, both of them stemming from Frederik IX. As part of the royal collections, the Reference Library is home to a rich and various source material regarding the Royal Family and Denmark’s history and culture. The Library often contributes to exhibitions and publications, and is, with certain restrictions, open to the public. The majority of its catalogues are available to search in on the internet. Read more.
Her Majesty the Queen’s Reference Library is closed until 13 April. We are closed in order to follow the guidelines of the Danish government to decrease the risk of contamination of the coronavirus. Her Majesty the Queen’s Reference Library is open to visit by appointment. Since it is a reference library, books, maps, and other materials may not be borrowed, but only viewed on site. As a general rule, only materials which cannot be viewed in other Danish libraries are made available. Enquiries specifying what you wish to see and to what purpose should be addressed to email@example.com, after which an appointment can be made.